HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Salvation Army opened its doors Tuesday night to provide shelter to the homeless and needy as temperatures fell below freezing.
"We had roughly forty folks come and stay with us," reported Captain Andy Gilliam, Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army in Southeast Mississippi. This Hattiesburg shelter can hold about 70 individuals. The shelter in Laurel was occupied by 14 people Tuesday night and has a capacity of 18.
At least this many people are expected to return Wednesday night.
"Anytime the average temp goes below forty, we operate 24 hours a day here," explained Captain Gilliam. "We have several areas in and around Hattiesburg where we know homeless individuals are and we make an effort to touch base with each of those folks so we can get them inside."
Those who entered the shelter were given a hot meal and a warm bed to sleep in. Once temperatures rose above forty degrees on Wednesday morning, people left the shelter. With subfreezing temperatures in the forecast again, doors will open Wednesday night at 5:00.
The Salvation Army welcomes any donations, including coats, blankets, food, and other cold weather items.